Conwy Local Development Plan 2007 - 2022

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4.3 THE ECONOMIC STRATEGY

4.3.1 Spatial Objectives

SO1, SO4, SO5.

4.3.2 Economic Strategy Statement

4.3.2.1 The economic strategy policies of this Plan need to address a number of employment related challenges and aspirations including:

  • Meeting the employment needs of the predicted population;
  • Promoting and developing new higher value employment opportunities;
  • Supporting business and technology clusters;
  • Supporting the growth of existing business, entrepreneurs and business start-ups;
  • Developing a skills and knowledge based economy which optimises the value of the area’s natural resources, environment and cultural heritage;
  • Utilising the County’s strategic road and rail position. Ideally, such employment initiatives should provide permanent skilled careers that will attract and retain young people within the area.


4.3.2.2 Collectively these are important elements in promoting a more balanced and skilled age structure and a positive means to promoting and retaining a younger and more economically active population.


4.3.2.3 The employment strategy is designed to ensure that over the Plan period the Council works with its partners to plan, monitor and review the delivery of approximately 2,350 new jobs (20.5 hectares of land) of B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment uses with an additional contingency level (of 235 new jobs) up to a total of 2,585 jobs (22.5 hectares). A further 1,800 jobs (15.5 hectares) with an additional contingency level (of 180 new jobs) up to 1,980 new jobs (17 hectares) has been made available for B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment uses within the Plan to contribute to reducing out-commuting levels The development of business and technology clusters will be promoted, together with the transport, environmental and telecommunications infrastructure needed to support such networks. The Economic Strategy recognises that within such 'clusters' collaboration between related businesses (which buy and sell from each other and share the same infrastructure, technology, potential customers and skill base), can result in a more competitive, productive and innovative environment.


4.3.2.4 Policies developed under the Economic Strategy seek to focus attention on accessible locations with good infrastructure. This should contribute towards meeting population objectives, reducing out-commuting levels, meeting identified needs in the urban and rural settlements, developing skills and creating higher value employment. The Council will work closely with private and public partners to formulate an investment strategy for the Plan Area that takes account of potential financial incentives which may become available through various schemes such as the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan.


4.3.2.5 The Wales Spatial Plan identifies strategic hub areas within which future investment for employment, housing, retail, leisure and services should be focused. Conwy/Llandudno Junction/Llandudno/Colwyn Bay is recognised as one such hub, and the designation of Colwyn Bay – Rhyl as a Strategic Regeneration Area adds emphasis. The Council recognises this through seeking to concentrate development within the Urban Development Strategy Area. To that end the publication of the Colwyn Bay Masterplan is a key delivery vehicle in creating employment and overcoming deprivation and economic decline, of which jobs creation represents a key driver. However, the economic strategy recognises the high level of constraints within the strategic hub to the east of the Plan Area in distributing and safeguarding employment supply.


4.3.2.6 It is important that the economic strategy also encourages smaller scale employment outside the urban settlements so that rural enterprise can develop and contribute to local economic development. However, such development must be compatible with the landscape, highway, ecological and amenity interests. It is also important to improve the speed, quality and accessibility of high speed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to facilitate greater opportunities for home or remote working in rural areas. Such working offers distinct opportunities, not only for implementing sustainable development principles, but also for creating new employment, re-using vacant buildings and reducing the need for vehicular journeys to work. It may also help mitigate the migration of local people from the area and strengthen community life by allowing people to live and work in their home village.


4.3.2.7 The economic strategy includes policies which look to protect the existing stock of office and employment premises and promote new office and industrial employment generating businesses on suitable non-allocated sites. The promotion of appropriate green economy and eco-industry networks are also supported provided there are no unacceptable impacts. Additionally, the rehabilitation and refurbishment of existing employment areas will be encouraged wherever possible to encourage environmental improvements, investment attraction and regeneration overall.


4.3.2.8 This Economic Strategy sets out the approach to contributing to these key issues.

4.3.3 Meeting B1, B2 and B8 Office and Industrial Employment Needs

STRATEGIC POLICY EMP/1 – MEETING B1, B2 & B8 OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYMENT NEEDS

Meeting the employment needs of the County is at the heart of Council’s future objectives. Over the Plan period the Council will plan, monitor and review the delivery of approximately 20.5 hectares of B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment land, (inclusive of completions, committed sites and new allocations) with a further contingency level of up to 2.0 hectares (22.5 hectares in total) of B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment land, to meet the population predictions over the Plan period. Approximately 15.5 hectares, with a contingency of 1.5 hectares (17 hectares in total), of B1, B2 and B8 office and industrial employment land to contribute to the objective of reducing out-commuting levels will be provided. Higher value B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment, skills development, business and technology clusters and the promotion of a more balanced age structure will be encouraged. This will be achieved by:

  1. Supporting new employment development in the Urban and Rural Development Strategy Areas in line with Policy EMP/2 – ‘New B1, B2 & B8 Office and Industrial Employment Development’;
  2. Contributing to the reduction of out-commuting levels by supporting additional new B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment development in the Urban Development Strategy Area in line with Policy EMP/2;
  3. Supporting new B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment development on non-allocated sites within the Urban and Rural Development Strategy Areas in line with Policy EMP/3 – ‘New B1, B2 & B8 Office and Industrial Development on Non-Allocated Sites’;
  4. Tackling problems of deprivation and economic decline through the retention and development of employment generating uses as part of the comprehensive regeneration of Colwyn Bay in line with Policy DP/8 – ‘Colwyn Bay Urban Regeneration Master Plan’;
  5. Protecting B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment sites from other uses in line with Policy EMP/4 – ‘Safeguarding B1, B2 & B8 Office and Industrial Employment Sites’;
  6. Promoting B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial Improvement Areas in line with Policy EMP/5 – ‘Office and Industrial Improvement Areas’;
  7. Promoting employment use of suitable underused or redundant land or buildings within the Rural Development Strategy Area in line with Policy EMP/6 – ‘The Re-use and Adaptation of Rural Buildings’;
  8. Supporting appropriate diversification on agricultural holdings that is compatible with landscape, ecology and amenity and can be accessed sustainably in line with Policy DP/6 – ‘National Planning Policy and Guidance’;
  9. Promoting skills development in line with Policies DP/4 – ‘Development Criteria’, DP5 – ‘Infrastructure and New Developments’;
  10. Supporting the development of business/technology clusters and environmental benefits through green eco-industrial networking in line with Policies EMP/2, EMP/3 and EMP/4;
  11. Encouraging infrastructure that sustains and promotes the local economy in line with the Development Principles.


4.3.3.1 The means by which this Plan can directly facilitate an improvement in the economy of the Plan Area are limited. Its key role is to ensure that a sufficient supply of land is available and protected to enable a greater range of employment initiatives to be encouraged without compromising the environmental and historical assets within Conwy and the cultural identity of the Plan Area.


4.3.3.2 The majority of the larger and more sustainable settlements within the Plan Area are along the A55 and rail coastal corridor. Whilst these urban locations will accommodate the majority of the employment growth over the Plan period, the Plan recognises the needs of the rural communities and allocates employment land within the Rural Development Strategy Area to assist in promoting sustainable rural communities and contribute to reducing private car travel.


4.3.3.3 Studies into the requirements for employment land (refer to BP/2 - Population and Household Projections’) and availability of suitable sites from current supply (refer to BP/13 – ‘Employment Land Monitoring Report’) show that there is a large supply of land with planning permission for employment purposes within the Plan Area, predominantly within the Urban Development Strategy Area. As evidenced in BP/13, there is also sufficient land available to meet the majority of the short and medium to long term needs of the area. However, new land for employment purposes is allocated in the Urban and Rural Development Strategy Areas, predominantly in the Wales Spatial Plan strategic hub locations of Conwy, Llandudno Junction and Llandudno and the accessible location of Abergele, to meet the identified shortfall and the additional requirement to reduce out-commuting levels. In addition, appropriate proposals for new office and industrial development within and on the fringe of recognised settlements will be promoted where the priority objectives are met.


4.3.3.4 Most new employment development is to be located within the Urban Development Strategy Area, but additional allocations are made within the more accessible and serviced Rural Development Strategy Area settlements, predominantly within the Tier 1 and 2 Main Villages, to contribute to the promotion of more sustainable communities and locally sourced and accessible jobs. The Council recognises that supporting existing and new businesses will assist local communities to prosper, provide skills development and help reduce the need for people to commute long distances to work. The policy approach is flexible enough to ensure that new appropriate proposals for rural local employment opportunities are also encouraged on non-allocated sites. It is paramount that the protection and enhancement of the Welsh language and culture in addition to the environment is achieved.


4.3.3.5 It is important that the existing stock of office and industrial employment premises is safeguarded. However, the Council recognises cases where current office and/or industrial premises are unsuited to an area and require relocation or are no longer viable financially.

4.3.4 Allocation of New B1, B2 & B8 Office and Industrial Employment Development Sites

Policy EMP/2 – ALLOCATION OF NEW B1, B2 AND B8 OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYMENT DEVELOPMENT SITES

  1. Over the Plan period the Council will plan, monitor and review the delivery of approximately 20.5 hectares of B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment land, (inclusive of completions, committed sites and new allocations) with a further contingency level of 2.0 hectares (22.5 hectares in total) of B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment land to meet the population predictions. Approximately 15.5 hectares, with a contingency of 1.5 hectares (17 hectares in total) of B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment land to contribute to the objective of reducing out-commuting levels will be provided. Higher value B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment, skills development business and technology clusters to encourage a more balanced age structure. This will be achieved by:
  1. Locating and protecting approximately 85% (17.5 hectares) of B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial land within the Urban Development Strategy Area (inclusive of completions, committed sites and new allocations) and an additional contingency level of 1.5 hectares (19 hectares in total) where most population growth is expected. New site allocations and contingency sites are distributed and protected as set out below:
  2. Locating and protecting a further 15.5 hectares of B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial land within the Urban Development Strategy Area (inclusive of completions, committed sites and new allocations) and an additional 1.5 hectares of contingency (17 hectares in total) to contribute to reducing out-commuting levels. New site allocations and contingency sites are distributed and protected as set out below:
URBAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AREA
Urban Settlement
Site Allocation
Employment Allocation
Strategic Hub Location – Llandudno Junction
Esgyryn, Llandudno Junction (Mixed-use Housing and Employment Site)
5.2 hectares of B1 Employment
Strategic Hub location - Llandudno Junction
North East of Former Goods Yard
0.4 hectares of B1 Employment
Conwy
Penmaen Road, Conwy
0.5 hectares of B1Employment
Llandudno
The former Goods Yard
1.4 hectares of B1Employment
Abergele
Abergele South East (Mixed-use Housing and Employment)
2.0 hectares of B1 Employment
Abergele
Abergele Business Park Mixed-use Housing and Employment)
2.0 hectares of B1 Employment
Total USDA allocations
11.5 hectares (to meet requirement for 10.73 hectares- see table 8)
Contingency Site
Abergele
Abergele South East
3.7 hectares of B1/B2/B8 Employment (3.0 hectares requirement-see table7)
TOTAL (inc. contingency)
15.2 hectares
  1. Locating and protecting approximately 15% (3 hectares) of B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial land within the Rural Development Strategy Area (inclusive of completions, committed sites and new allocations) with an additional contingency level of 0.5 hectares (3.5 hectares in total) over the Plan period. New site allocations and contingency sites will be distributed and protected as set out below:
RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AREA
Rural Settlement
Site Allocation
Employment Allocation
Tier 1 Main Village,
Land at Orme View Filling Station, Dwygyfylchi
0.5 hectares of B1/B2/B8 Employment
Tier 2 Main Village,
Land at Memorial Hall, Dolgarrog
0.3 hectares of BI/B2 Employment
Tier 2 Main Village,
Land at Llansannan
1.0 hectares of B1/B2 Employment
Tier 2 Main Village,
Site R44 Llangernyw
0.3 hectares of BI/B2 Employment
Tier 2 Main Village,
Site R5 off the B5105, Cerrigydrudion (mixed-use housing and employment)
1.0 hectares of BI/B2 Employment
Total RDSA Allocations
3.1 hectares (to meet requirement for 3 hectares- see table 8)
Contingency

Tier 1 Main Village, Rural

MS9 Orme View Filling Station, Dwygyfylchi
0.5 hectares of B1/B2/B8 Employment (0.5 hectares requirement-see table 7)
TOTAL (inc. contingency)
3.6 hectares
  1. Allocated and contingency sites will be released as detailed in the Implementation and Monitoring Plan. A contingency site will be released if it is demonstrated through the Annual Monitoring Reports that annual development rates are 15% lower or higher than targets for two or more consecutive years.

4.3.5 Meeting employment demands from predicted population changes.

4.3.5.1 To meet the employment land demands generated from predicted population change over the Plan period, Conwy needs to plan, monitor and review a requirement for 20.5 hectares of employment land with an additional contingency of 2 hectares (22.5 hectares in total) over the Plan period (Refer to BP/2) inclusive of employment constructed since 2007, sites undeveloped with planning permission and new allocations (refer to Table 7). The translation of jobs to land requirement ratio is detailed in BP/42 – ‘Employment Land Supply and Demand’. In line with BP/37 – ‘Growth Distribution Options Report’ 85% (17.5 hectares) of this employment land requirement is to be located in the Urban Development Strategy Area and 15% (3 hectares) in the Rural Development Strategy Area. This split of overall supply matches the distribution of contingency and housing sites providing for a holistic strategy approach.

4.3.6 Reducing out commuting levels

4.3.6.1 The most recent assessment of commuting levels published by the Welsh Government in 2010 sets out that 7,200 people out-commute from Conwy to work, an increase on previous 2009 figures (figures are net). An objective of the Council is to reduce the level of out-commuting through the provision of economic growth. The provision of more jobs than housing could lead to a reduction in out-commuting, but overall the level of net outward commuting is unlikely to be reduced dramatically, due to the smaller and more rural nature of the Plan Area. Only larger urban areas have sufficient population and employment to provide the variety of jobs required to support relative self containment. Therefore, the distribution of employment land generated from out-commuting reduction is allocated within the strategic hub locations and in the accessible and sustainable location of Abergele.


4.3.6.2 As identified in BP/2 and BP/3, a further 1,800 jobs should be accommodated in the Plan to contribute to reducing out-commuting.


4.3.6.3 To contribute to the reduction in out-commuting levels, a further 15.5 hectares, with an additional contingency level of 1.5 hectares (17 hectares in total), of employment land is to be accommodated in the Urban Development Strategy Area, predominantly in the Strategic Hub location of Conwy/Llandudno/Llandudno Junction/Colwyn Bay and the accessible and sustainable urban settlement of Abergele. This element of additional need is kept separate from the demand generated by predicted population change as a result of there being no housing need implications from residents already residing within the Plan Area.


4.3.6.4 All allocations and their uses as set out in Policy EMP/2 are protected. The change of use from protected allocation to alternative employment or non-employment uses will not be permitted. Table 7 below details the employment land framework over the Plan period.
 

Table 7: Plan Area Employment Land Framework 2007 – 2022

Demand generated by predicted population change
Land Required 20.5 hectares (17.5 ha in the Urban Development Strategy Area and 3.0 ha in the Rural Development Strategy Area)
Contingency 2.0 hectares (1.5 ha in the Urban Development Strategy Area and 0.5 ha in the Rural Development Strategy Area)
Sub-total Land Requirement 22.5 hectares
Distribution of Need Target 85% of need within the Urban Development Strategy Area and 15% within the Rural Development Strategy Area
Demand generated to reduce out-commuting levels
Land Required 15.5 hectares in the Urban Development Strategy Area
Contingency 1.5 hectares in the Urban Development Strategy Area
Sub-total Land Requirement 17 hectares
Distribution of Need Target 100% of need within the Urban Development Strategy Area
TOTAL LAND REQUIREMENT
Overall Land Requirement 36 hectares (20.5 ha + 15.5 ha)
Overall Contingency Required 3.5 hectares (2 ha + 1.5 ha)
Employment Land Uses
Employment Land Uses Greater demand and shift towards B1/B8 uses in the short to medium term and B2 in the longer term

4.3.6.5 Achieving and maintaining high levels of B1, B2 & B8 economic growth and employment is an important planning issue with implications, not only for the creation of sustainable employment opportunities, but also upon interrelated issues such as housing availability and infrastructure. Therefore, the intention is to ensure that economic opportunities are utilised to their full potential within the Plan Area.

4.3.7 Employment Land and Neighbouring Authorities

4.3.7.1 The Plan recognises that B1, B2 & B8 employment land supply in Conwy cannot be considered in isolation from that in neighbouring authority areas, especially those locations that are strategically positioned along the A55 corridor. The Conwy LDP takes into account the levels of employment land availability, as well as the intensity and type of existing employment activity. In Denbighshire, the St Asaph Business Park is a large 47-hectare development consisting of large-scale office uses, Parc Menai and the Bryn Cegin estates in Gwynedd are also key employment sites. In addition, the Denbighshire LDP proposed the allocation of approximately 26 hectares of new employment land at Bodelwyddan. However, to meet the priority objectives of the Plan, in particular to reduce out-commuting levels, predicted population changes and promote a holistic growth strategy, new employment allocations are promoted within the Conwy Plan Area.

4.3.8 Sources of Employment Land Supply

4.3.8.1 In meeting the required 20.5 hectares of employment land to contribute to predicted population change and the additional 15.5 hectares to contribute to out-commuting levels over the Plan period, the Council can also take account of employment completions (those built) and commitments (those with planning permission but not yet built) since 2007. The Council has already undertaken work to identify and classify this existing stock. The Employment Land Monitoring Report (refer to BP/13) sets out that there is already a significant land-bank of employment land. Table 8 below summarises the current position in terms of land supply. This gives the Council a clear idea of what land is freely available for development purposes prior to considering new employment allocations. Additionally, it is paramount to ensure that the right type of land use (B1, B2 & B8) is available at the right time over the Plan period as detailed in BP/13 and BP/42. Overall, in taking account of the completions and committed sites, the Council needs to allocate approximately 11 hectares of employment land within the Urban Development Strategy Area and 3 hectares within the Rural Development Strategy Area, predominantly for business (B1) use to meet predicted population change and contribute to reducing out-commuting. This takes into account that some 11.7 hectares have already been built since 2007 and 10.57 hectares have permission but not yet started as shown in Table 8 below, BP/13 and BP/42. Of this supply, none falls within the Rural Development Strategy Area.


4.3.8.2 The Council recognises that there may be occasions where the sites detailed in Table 8, or new allocations, do not come forward. To compensate for this possibility, the Plan has identified 3 hectares of land in the urban area and 0.5 hectares of land in the rural area as a contingency employment supply if required. Every opportunity has been taken to allocate land within the Strategic Hub locations. The release of the employment contingency land will be informed by the Implementation and Monitoring Plan, Phasing Plan and the Annual Monitoring Report.
 

Table 8: Employment Land Supply (2007 to date)

Sites Use type Constructed since 2007 Committed (undeveloped)
URBAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AREA
Mochdre Commerce Park, Mochdre Conwy, B1, B2 & B8 (predominantly B2 & B8) 5.5 5
Hotpoint, Narrow Lane, Llandudno Junction B1 3.7 0
Llandudno ‘online’, Conwy Road, Llandudno Junction B1 & B2 3.2
Abergele Business Park B1 2.0 0
Lynx Express, Penrhyn Avenue, Links Rd, Rhos on Sea B1 0 0.13
Unit 1 Morfa Conwy Business Park, Conwy B1 & B2 0.2 0
Land at Ffordd Maelgwyn, Llandudno Junction B1, B2 & B8 0.3 0
Former Dairy, Station Road, Mochdre B1 & B8 0 0.7
Ty Gwyn, Llanrwst B1, B2 & B8 1.54
Sub Total 11.7 hectares 10.57 hectares
Total current supply in the urban area 22.27 hectares
Total required to meet predicted population change 17.5 hectares
Total required to contribute to out commuting levels 15.5 hectares
New land allocations required in the Urban Area 10.73 hectares
RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AREA
N/A N/A 0 0
Sub Total 0.00 0.00
Total required to meet predicted population change 3 hectares

4.3.9 New B1, B2 and B8 Office, Industrial and Waste Management Facilities Development on Non-Allocated Sites

Policy EMP/3 – NEW B1, B2&B8 OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT ON NON-ALLOCATED SITES

New, office and industrial facilities development within or adjacent to the main built up areas of the Urban Development Strategy Settlements and the Tier 1 & 2 Main Villages and Minor Villages will be supported on non-allocated sites, subject to other policies in the Plan and all the following criteria being met:

  1. The proposal is appropriate in scale and nature to its location;
  2. It can be demonstrated that the proposal could not be accommodated on land allocated for the particular use or be located on a suitable brownfield site or building;
  3. The proposal is supported by evidence of local employment benefits in terms of viable jobs provided and local skills generated;
  4. The proposed development would not have an unacceptable adverse impact on occupiers of neighbouring properties or the environment;
  5. The proposal is sustainably accessible;
  6. There is no adverse impact on the Welsh language in line with Policy CTH/5 – ‘The Welsh Language’.


4.3.9.1 In addition to the above sources of supply and allocations, the Authority will also consider B1, B2 & B8 economic development proposals on non-allocated sites within or adjacent to the main built up areas within the Urban Development Strategy Area and the Tier 1 & 2 Main Villages subject to Policy EMP/3 and other policies within the Plan. Proposals for waste management facilities at such locations will be considered on their individual merits in line with Policies EMP/3 and MWS/6. A professional business plan, prepared by a qualified and independent advisor/surveyor, will be required to support a planning application under the policy, demonstrating the viability of the scheme and the employment benefits, including skills development. Proposals will not be supported where there are adverse impacts on the environment and amenity of the area. Proposals for new office and industrial development will be subject to meeting LDP4 – ‘Planning Obligations’ Supplementary Planning Guidance document, in particular for local skills development.


4.3.9.2 Supporting evidence is required to demonstrate that there are no alternative allocated or previously developed sites that could be utilised as an alternative to the use of greenfield sites. The Council will take full advantage of its Rural Business Asset Plan in brining back into use empty or derelict land and buildings for employment use within the Rural Development Strategy Area prior to considering new build developments on greenfield lands subject to Policy EMP/6 – ‘Re-use and Adaptation of Redundant Rural Buildings’.


4.3.9.3 Proposals will be subject to meeting Policy CTH/5 and Supplementary Planning Guidance LDP4.

4.3.10 Safeguarding B1, B2 and B8 Office and Industrial Sites

Policy EMP/4 – SAFEGUARDING B1, B2&B8 OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL SITES

  1. Existing B1, B2 & B8 office and industrial employment sites as designated on the Proposals Map, are safeguarded for the purposes of B1, B2 and B8 uses only. Development that would lead to the loss of existing B1, B2 & B8 employment sites on designated land will not be permitted. Proposals for changes of use between the B1, B2 & B8 use classes on existing designated land will be permitted provided the proposed development does not prejudice the strategic employment land requirement, is compatible with the amenity of occupiers of neighbouring properties and the environment in general, and subject to being acceptable in terms of other Local Development Plan Policies.
  2. Proposals which would lead to a loss of B1, B2 & B8 employment land or buildings not falling within a designated or allocated area, as shown on the Proposals Map, will only be supported in exceptional circumstances where the development is acceptable in terms of other Local Development Plan policies and provided:
  1. The site has no reasonable prospect of it becoming marketable for B1, B2 and B8 employment development or;
  2. The site is incompatible with the surrounding area for B1, B2 & B8 employment uses and an alternative land use would benefit the surrounding area and community;
    In either of these cases the applicant must also demonstrate that the non-employment use;
  3. Would be compatible with neighbouring employment uses and;
  4. Will respect the character and amenity of the surrounding area and is landscaped accordingly.

4.3.10.1 There is significant pressure to allow alternative, higher value land uses on employment sites. If uncontrolled, this will reduce the scale, range and type of employment sites available within the Plan Area. Existing established office and industrial areas are shown on the Proposals Map as safeguarded areas. These existing and established office and industrial areas are vital to the current and future supply, where other forms of non office and industrial development will not be permitted in line with the policy. Proposals for changes of use between the B1, B2 & B8 use classes on existing designated land will be permitted subject to being acceptable in terms of the policy and other related Local Development Plan Policies. Policy EMP/4 does not relate to new employment allocations as detailed in EMP/2. In line with Policy EMP/2, new employment allocations are protected solely for the use that they were allocated in order to meet the strategic employment land requirement over the Plan period. The review and monitoring of the allocated and designated sites will form part of the Council’s annual Employment Land Monitoring Report.


4.3.10.2 Many waste management activities fall within the general industrial class in the Use Classes Order and can be considered to be a B1, B2 or B8 use. This is particularly the case given the increased move towards enclosing waste management activities in purpose-designed buildings. The North Wales Regional Waste Plan recommends that each Local Planning Authority assesses available industrial land for suitability for waste management operations. Proposals for waste management facilities at such locations will be considered on their individual merits.


4.3.10.3 In addition to the designated areas and proposed allocations, there are a significant number of smaller sites providing valuable office and industrial employment premises for local businesses, but are not specifically allocated or designated within the Plan. The Council will endeavour to ensure that these employment sites and buildings are treated as a valuable resource. The loss of such sites will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances under this policy. There may be cases where the site is unsuitable for B1, B2 & B8 employment purposes by virtue of its location and surroundings or comprehensive evidence demonstrates that the current office or industrial use is no longer viable. In such cases, the applicant must submit relevant financial information to support the case, plus evidence of the premises being marketed for a minimum of 12 months at a realistic price. A supporting statement should be submitted with the application which explains the extent of the marketing exercise and includes the agent’s view as to the commercial viability of the site. Applicants should take note of further detailed guidance to be produced as SPG, relating to satisfactory marketing exercises and producing supporting statements.
 

4.3.11 Office and Industrial Improvement Areas

Policy EMP/5 – OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL EMPLOYMENT IMPROVEMENT AREAS

The Council will promote and encourage the improvement of the following B1, B2 & B8 Office and Industrial employment sites, as shown on the Proposals Map:

  1. Builder Street/Council Street, Llandudno
  2. Arch Motors, Llandudno
  3. Former Fisheries Research Site, Benarth Road, Conwy
  4. Glan y Mor Road and Vale Road, Llandudno Junction
  5. East of Tre Marl (1), Llandudno Junction
  6. Tre Marl (1), Llandudno Junction
  7. Bron y Nant Road, Mochdre
  8. Glan y Wern Road, Conwy Road, Mochdre
  9. Pensarn Trading Estate, Pensarn, Abergele
  10. Peel Street, Abergele
  11. Cadar Avenue/St Asaph Avenue, Kinmel Bay
  12. Station Yard, Llanrwst
  13. North Station Yard, Llanrwst


4.3.11.1 The Council recognises that it is sustainable to make better use of what we already have through improvement and refurbishment. There are many established industrial areas which have historically been developed on an ad-hoc basis. Whilst existing industrial sites are recognised as important safeguarded areas under Policy EMP/4 in terms of the benefits they provide for local employment, many of the areas have become outdated and unsuitable for modern processes, particularly in relation to poor environmental conditions, unsuitable premises and inadequate access and infrastructure. The sites covered by the policy provide opportunities for potential benefits in terms of environmental improvements/landscaping and improvements to the buildings and level of infrastructure provision. To be most effective such initiatives need to be undertaken as part of a comprehensive package looking at marketing/signage, the image of the estate, accessibility/public transport and the potential for rationalisation and partial redevelopment. Where appropriate, the expansion or relocation of businesses will be encouraged where Policy EMP/4 is satisfactorily met. The list is not comprehensive and opportunities will arise to improve other established employment areas.

4.3.12 Re-Use and Adaptation of Redundant Rural Buildings

Policy EMP/6 – RE-USE AND ADAPTATION OF REDUNDANT RURAL BUILDINGS

The re-use and adaptation of existing buildings in the rural area to new business uses that contribute to the local economy and Welsh language and culture will be permitted where:

  1. The building is substantially intact and structurally capable of conversion without requiring major or complete reconstruction, and;
  2. The building is capable of conversion to accommodate the proposal without substantially altering its size, character and external appearance and the proposed form, bulk and general design are in keeping with their surroundings, and;
  3. Conversion does not result in unacceptable impacts upon the structure, form, character or setting where the building is of historic and/or architectural interest, and;
  4. Safe access for pedestrians and vehicles can be provided without prejudicing the character and appearance of the building and area, and;
  5. The proposal represents a sustainable development in terms of the location and construction, and;
  6. Any ancillary works associated with the conversion will not unacceptably adversely affect the rural character of the locality, and;
  7. There is no adverse impact on the Welsh language in line with Policy CTH/5;
  8. The application is supported by a professional business plan which demonstrates the viability of the scheme.


4.3.12.1Local Planning Authorities should adopt a positive approach to the conversion of rural buildings for business re-use (Planning Policy Wales). Where buildings are no longer required for their original use, predominantly agriculture, they can present a valuable opportunity to offer employment and support the rural economy and Welsh language and culture. In line with national guidance, re-use for employment use will always be the first priority over residential development. Potential new uses include business, tourism or recreation. Proposals for employment uses will be considered acceptable where all criteria are met under the policy. Further guidance is to be provided in LDP7 ‘Rural Conversions’ SPG.


4.3.12.2 A professional business plan, prepared by a qualified and independent advisor/surveyor, will be required to support a planning application under the policy, demonstrating the viability of the scheme and the employment benefits.

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